I really expected this lasagna recipe to require more tweaking. But after one try, the gluten-free casein-free lasagna my husband made today turned out quite tasty!
He used brown rice lasagna for the noodles, and they cooked nicely. Although, my husband said that he had to cook them a bit longer than normal. This was not a big surprise since legume pasta also takes a bit longer than traditional pasta. Speaking of which, I would have much rather used a legume form of lasagna, but there doesn’t seem to be one of those types available on the market. Legumes would be a superior choice because of the extra fiber. I will keep my eyes peeled and let you know as soon as I find one.
The rice lasagna held together just as well as traditional white lasagna noodles.
The one thing I do want to mention is that this is a lightened version of traditional lasagna. It has way less sodium and fat, and is far less rich than full fat lasagna. This is the way I prefer it anyway, since lasagnas that are heavy like the ones at Olive Garden, are just too rich and salty for me. It has something to do with what you are used to. So if you are used full fat, super rich lasagna, you may not enjoy it as much as I did.
But I want to encourage you, if you prefer the rich stuff, to give yourself time to readjust to the lower fat and lower sodium content of the lightened recipes. I promise, it will not take long before you don’t like that rich stuff anymore.
As far as the casein-free cheeses, we used three different types:
Follow Your Heart Mozzarella and Parmesan, and Part Skim Ricotta cheese.
First of all, in case you didn’t already know this, ricotta cheese is made from the whey part of milk. This means it is entirely (or nearly entirely) casein-free. So, unless you have an actual allergy to casein, you should be able to use ricotta cheese in recipes.
My personal opinion is that the mozzarella cheese in the casein-free, gluten-free lasagna is really good, the Parmesan, not so much. So, I would probably use the mozzarella for the cheese topping next time. Although, it is true, that I’ve been enjoying the lasagna for several days in a row. It is quite satisfying as a lunch item.
We used light/white meat ground turkey instead of ground beef. I personally like the taste of ground turkey more than the taste of ground beef for most recipes. Meatloaf is an exception, for example. However, for chili, spaghetti sauce, enchilada casseroles, chili mac and lasagna, ground turkey is delicious. And it is way lower in fat and saturated fat. Not only that, but it is less expensive than ground beef. So, that’s another benefit.
By the way, anytime you combine a high protein food with vitamin C rich foods, your body will be able to better use the iron. This is the perfect dish for that. The turkey is a good source of iron, and the tomatoes and bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C.
So, here’s the recipe. Let me know what you think!
Gluten-Free Casein-Free Lasagna
- Cook pasta according to box instructions, until al dente.
- chop onion, pepper, basil, thyme, oregano, and garlic
- Brown turkey with 1/2 of raw vegetables, garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt
- Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, other half of raw vegetables, and herbs to separate saucepan.
- Bring tomato mixture to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add cooked turkey mixture to tomato sauce mix and cook an additional 15 minutes
- Spray 7 x 10 size glass dish with cooking spray.
- Line bottom with noodles (single layer)
- Add 1/3 of total sauce, then 1/3 of ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese
- Add another layer of noodles (single layer). It's okay if noodles are broken. They will still taste good and won't show in the final recipe) 🙂
- Add 2nd 1/3 sauce, 1/3 ricotta, mozzarella cheese
- Add last layer noodles
- Add last 1/3 sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese
- Top with parmesan (or use extra mozzarella instead if preferred)
- Place in preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 40 minutes or until heated through and slightly brown. NOTE: the parmesan cheese will not appear to be melted like traditional parmesan.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 10